'90 Montero That had past water damage

200k+ miles, recent new motor, everything works EXCEPT the dash lights. All the king’s horses can’t seem to get them to work. Any ideas?

A good automobile electric shop should be able to run down the problem. There is an open circuit to the dash lights. If the fuse for this circuit is not blown, one place to check is the rheostat that controls the brightness of these lights. I had a rheostat go out on a 1990 Ford Aerostar that I used to own–it wasn’t difficult to track this down. It had voltage going to the rheostat and no voltage on the other side.

If there is voltage getting to the dash lights, then suspect that a ground to the chassis is open.
If the fuse to the dash lights keeps blowing then you have a short to the ground someplace.

The first thing to check is the rheostat (dash dimmer) to see if it is defective, not receiving power from the main lighting switch, or the offchance that someone just inadvertently turned the dash lights off.

Make sure the dimmer switch and the panel ground wire have been checked.